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Oklahoma and Other Poems

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Oklahoma and Other Poems, by Freeman E. Miller
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Oklahoma and Other Poems
Author: Freeman E. Miller
Release Date: February 7, 2005 [EBook #14953]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OKLAHOMA AND OTHER POEMS ** *
Produced by David Starner, William Flis, and the PG Online Distributed Proofreading Team.
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OKLAHOMA
AND
OTHER POEMS
BY
FREEMAN E. MILLER, A.M.,
PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE IN THE
AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL COLLEGE OF
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OKLAHOMA TERRITORY. BUFFALO CHARLES WELLS MOULTON 1895
COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY FREEMAN E. MILLER, A.M. PRINTED BY CHARLES WELLS MOULTON, BUFFALO, N.Y.
TO JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY, IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF OTHER DAYS. Our dearest joys forever flow From fountains of the Long Ago, That from the heights of pleasures past Flood all the present valleys vast, And with eternal glees provide The future's endless ocean tide. To ope each cage where a heartless age Hath chained the birds of singing, Till Love's own glee that is fond and free Shall laugh where they are winging,— Such is my wish. 'Tis true, hold I, That songs, like birds, in bondage die. CONTENTS. OKLAHOMA9 THE RACE FOR HOMES15 AT PERRY, SEPTEMBER 16, 189319 "SING ME A SONG, O WIND."21 A CHRISTMAS CAROL24 YEARS THAT ARE TO BE26 IF WE DON'T OR IF WE DO28 DEAR SONGS OF MY COUNTRY30 JULY FOURTH33 "O, GENTLE SHADES OF QUIET WOODS."35 LOVE37 WINTERS ON THE FARM39 "O, WEAK AND WEARY WORLD."41 EX ANIMA43 "LO, ALL THE AGE IS RANK WITH WRONG."45 . "LOVE, THOU GAYEST FANCY-WEAVER "47 THE FARMER49 "NATURE HAS A THOUSAND CHOIRS."51 THE WORKINGMAN53 GIVING AND FORGIVING55 "O, SACRED SOULS THAT GRANDLY SING."57
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CHRISTMAS TIME59 TRUEST HEROES ARE UNKNOWN61 IF WE BUT KNEW62 HOPE64 DESPONDENCY66 IF LOVE WERE KING68 "SING ME THE OLD SONGS, MOTHER."69 TWO LIVES71 "AWAY, AWAY, FROM THE SULTRY WAYS."72 SPINSTERHOOD74 "SWEET FAIRIES FROM THE ISLES OF SONG."75  STANZAS77 "MAKE THE MOST OF THIS LIFE."78 "THE SONGS THAT MOTHER USED TO SING."80 "QUAFF THE GLASS, THE WINE IS RED."81 GOOD-NIGHT83 LIVE LIFE WITH LOVE84 DISCONTENT86 STANZAS87 THE WAY OF THE WORLD89 MY SHADOW AND I90 IN THE VALES91 THE WILLOW92 AT THE MILL94 SHADOW AND SHINE95 THE GROWTH OF SONG96 SPRING AND MUSIC97 COMPENSATION98 MY MOLLIE, O100 SING NOT OF BEAUTY101 AT EVENTIDE102 WHEN CHRISTMAS COMES103 WHEN THOU ART NEAR104 HE SLEEPS AT LAST105 WHEN FORTUNES FROWN106 WHEN WE SHALL MEET107 SWEET EYES OF BLUE108 HAD WE NOT MET109 A SONNET110 OKLAHOMA.—A SONNET111 ESTRANGED112 RECONCILED113 THE DYING HERO114 SONNET115 GREATNESS LIVES APART116 POEMS117 SINGER AND SONG118 TO ONE WHO PLEDGED HER FRIENDSHIP119 THE BANKS O' TURKEY RUN119 OKLAHOMA. Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Land, O, land of the Fair God, Land where ancient, savage races Through barbarian ages trod! Through thy story fancy traces Facts above what fictions say, Where the world with haste advances,— Born are nations in a day! Where the wigwam stood so lonely, Lordly cities rise in might; Where spread desert wildness only, Fertile farms and homes delight. Thou hast summoned to thy bosom From the ends of all the earth, All the youngest, strongest, bravest, Full of will and wondrous worth. O'er thy valleys grow the blossoms Culled from earth's remotest sod; Oklahoma! Oklahoma!
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Land, O, Land of the Fair God! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! There is music in thy name. There is gladness in thy glory, There is fondness in thy fame! In the wonders of thy story Shines the sheen of noble deed, Brighter than the glare of battle Where the warriors toil and bleed; Ruling with immortal forces, There is found the king of might, Over all thy great resources By the strength of truth and right. With thy happy sons and daughters, Live the virtues fair and pure, And the better angels guiding Keep their hearts and souls secure. There are treasures in thy valleys, There are treasures in thy hills; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! How thy name my bosom thrills! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Child of law and liberty, Thou art always true and tender, Thou art ever dear to me! I will always praises render To the grandeur of thy worth, For the fortunes all presided At the moment of thy birth. Pleasures in their pure completeness O'er thy pleasant prairies shine, And the raptures run with fleetness Through the happy vales of thine. Thou art empress of the angels, Thou art queen of all the gods, And the happiness of heaven O'er thy laughing valleys nods. I will always crown with praises All thy glories, O, my state; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Thou art greatest of the great! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Bravest are thy noble sons, In the thunders of the battle, And the roaring of the guns! Flash of sword and musket's rattle Never fearful terror gave To the staunch and valiant bosoms Of thy happy hosts and brave. When the roars of hell grow louder, And the mountains shake in fright, In the lurid clouds of powder, They are foremost in the fight; And when bayonet and musket, Sword and saber, slaughter cease, They are tenderest and truest In the silent ways of peace. O, my state! A stream of greatness From thy mighty people runs; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Bravest are thy noble sons! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Fairest are thy daughters fair, In the thousand deeds of duty Thou hast given them to bear; Peerless is their wondrous beauty, Bright with blushes as the rose, Pure as petals of the lily,
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White as newly-fallen snows; And their voices bright with blessing Banish misery and woe, While their fingers' soft caressing Soothes the fevers from the brow. Souls are always blessed with brightness Bosoms filled with goodly pearls, Hearts forever harvest gladness, In the glances of thy girls. They are robed in golden garments, Nature's vestments, rich and rare; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Fairest are thy daughters fair! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Sweetest are thy happy homes, Smiling in the holy gladness Which above thee always roams; They are never linked with sadness, They are never bound with pains, For the sunshine of enjoyment Rules the people of thy plains. Songs are singing with thy maidens, Music echoes with thy wives, Rapture slays the grief that ladens All the gladness of their lives. Happiness is with thy husbands, And thy swains are blest with joy, While the fondest rapture rises In the hearts of girl and boy. Pleasures linger in thy woodlands, Gladness on thy prairies roams; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Sweetest are thy happy homes! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Thou shall ever live in song; Freedom, near to nature, raises Temples that to thee belong; Minstrels shall in merry praises Wind their music o'er thy name Till the voices of the ages Shout for thee in wild acclaim; They shall sing with tender pleasure Beauty of thy daughters true; Sing, in high, exultant measure, Deeds thy sons in battle do. Sages shall in wisdom offer Full rewards of love to thee, And shall crown thy land and people Favorites of liberty. All thy glory shall be shining Through the cycles clear and strong; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Though shall ever live in song! Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Romance of the ages, thou! Now, unknown; a moment later. Kingly crowns upon thy brow! Child of all the nations, greater Shall thy splendors year by year Grow unfading, bringing bounties Full of happiness and cheer! Morning saw a desert sleeping, Worn and wasted with distress; Night beheld an empire keeping Watch above the wilderness. Progress with her wand of magic Touched the sleeping valleys bright, And they leaped with instant vigor, Shaking out their locks of might;
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Earth shall send her fairest blossoms As a garland for thy brow; Oklahoma! Oklahoma! Romance of the ages thou! THE RACE FOR HOMES. APRIL 22, 1889. Behold! As from the shades of night, An army gathers full of might, And strong with constant courage stands 'Tween civilized and savage lands, Where, vast in power, the legion waits The turning of the desert gates, That men of might may enter in And progress all her glories win! Lo, where these thousands make assail, The barren ages all shall fail, And swift advancement far be hurled, O'er sleeping empires and the world! The morning hours haste hurried by; Behold! The noon is drawing nigh! The anxious host with careful eyes Marks well each rapid hour that flies, While hope, exulting, wildly rolls The highest, such as filled the souls Of Jason and his comrades bold, Who sought the famous fleece of gold. Upon the trampled grasses beat Impatient steeds with restless feet; The dins of harsh, discordant cries Above the thrilling thousands rise; Shrilly the scattered children call, And soft the words of women fall, While men with voices hushed and weak Their low commands expectant speak; Till suddenly a mighty cry, A shout of warning, smites the sky: "Attention! Ho, Attention here! Attention! Lo, The noon is near!" O'er hill and brake Resounds the warning cry; The moment great is nigh; The hosts awake; Awake, to strive with mad delight, Awake to win the friendly fight; And from the camps anear and far, Where nervous haste and hurry are, Vast legions gather on the plain, While chaos and confusion reign; The neighing steed with quickened pace Impatient seeks the vantage place; The slower ox with lightened load Stands waiting in the crowded road. And wagon, buggy, carriage, cart, Vehicles formed with rudest art, All forward, forward, forward dart, Swift-forming on the level ground Where most advantage may be found. "Line up! Ho, there, Line up, line up!" The hurried order smites the air; Above the silent prairies fair Unseen progression holds her cup, Filled to the brim with magic seeds
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That harvests hold for human needs. Excitement grows on beasts and men; The saddle girths are tightened o'er, The stirrups lengthened out once more, And silence softly falls again; Each bit and buckle, strap and band, Is tested o'er with careful hand, And man and beast in chosen place Stand ready for the coming race; The circling sun His morning race has fully run; A waving hand Signals above the brief command That sight and sense will understand,— And open swings the desert land! A shot! A hundred, thousand more The grassy meadows echo o'er; A shout! From countless throats a shout, On rolling wings leaps madly out; A yell, a raging roar, that flies On bounding winds o'er hill and glen, And 'round the land electrifies A thousand living miles of men! A mammoth stir, A sudden dash, Swift whip and spur Together clash, And wheels on wheels that totter crash! They're off! They're off! Away, away, In mad array! No stop nor stay! The hurried charge they ride to-day Would shame and scoff The Tartar, Turk and Romanoff! The race is on; The host is gone; The thronging legions madly ride O'er hill and dale, With hurried pace unsatisfied. In fierce assail Where none may fail; And only phantoms dimly blent Tell where the mounted armies went, Like shifting shadows, faint and dim, Or ghostly spectors, gaunt and grim, Beyond the far horizon's rim! Behold! Adown the valleys bright, The last, lone straggler fades from sight, And only hasty hoof-beats say What thousands rode the race to-day; What hosts, with hearts that build and bless, Found homes amid the wilderness! AT PERRY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1893. Crowds! Crowds! Crowds! Suddenly here as if come from the clouds That faded away as they came; Mad acres of people aflame With thirst for a morsel of land; Wild hunters of fortune, whose game Is ever escaping the hand; Vast, countless, uncountable throngs With restless, unrestable feet, That hurry the ways, full of agonized wrongs, For the conquest of happiness sweet; Wild seas of ambition whose waves of desire On their obstacles mighty continually beat, Where neither the shore nor the ocean is fixed;
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Like thunderous songs of a choir, Whose murmurs in music repeat; And confusion and chaos are terribly mingled and mixed. Dust! Dust! Dust! Borne in the arms of the gathering gust, And whirled on the wings of the wind, The eyes feel the blight of the blind, And horror comes into the heart; For nature is far more unkind Than the thousands that struggle apart. Dark, wild, inescapable dust, In fiercest, untamable clouds, That men into misery helplessly thrust, And bury in agony-shrouds; A simoom of sorrow whose pestilent breath To the strong and the weak, to the young and the old, Brings despair that is reckless of possible gain, And the awfullest anguish of death; Till the soul in its rage uncontrolled, Droops low in the horrible sickness and sorrow of pain. But out from the clouds, Out from the agonized dust that enshrouds; True kings shall arise who shall reign In homes on the populous plain! Great cities shall gather and grow In glories that never shall wane, Far over the valleys below. With merry yet measureless might They conquer the waste with the gladness that brings To the desert the newest delight. The barren shall bloom as the rose, and the land That is sleeping, a wilderness wasted and wild, And dreaming to welcome its master's command, Shall leap at the touch of his hand, His voice shall obey as a child! "SING ME A SONG, O, WIND." Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of musical cadence sweet, Which in the wood around Shall often and oft repeat; Soft as an angel's song That never can give annoy, Which in the balmy notes Shall tell me its tales of joy. Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of countries beyond the sea, Which in thy wand'rings oft Thou pass with a footstep free; Lands that are ever green 'Neath blaze of the tropic spells, Bright with their blessed suns, Where summer forever dwells. Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of groves with a verdure fair, Waving their boughs of green O'er solitudes grand and rare; Groves with a stillness sweet, With cheering and cooling shades, Where from its cares the race May rest in the leafy glades. Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of birds with a plumage gay, That with their carols sweet Give praise to the God of day; Music of sad refrain
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Though fond in its tender chime, Thou in thy travels wide Hast heard in a fairy clime. Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of crystalline brooks at play, Which with the murmurs low Make sweetest of sounds all day; Winding through meadows wide, And blossoming fields between, Fringed with the willows tall On emerald banks of green. Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of flowers that are fond and fair, Filling the fields of earth With beauty and fragrance rare; Wafting an incense pure On every breeze that blows, Drawn from the lily's heart And soul of the royal rose. Sing me a song, O, Wind, Of man in his brightest homes; Tell if he there meet joy, Wherever his longing roams; Tell if there's e'er a place Where, all his ambition spent, He toils throughout all his days And knoweth no discontent. Sing me a song, O, Wind, For I am a-weary now; Life, with its woes and cares, Hangs heavily on my brow; Sing me a song of cheer, My heart that is sad to ease; Sing in thy brightness and joy With heavenly harmonies! A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The brazen bells of laughing lands In swelling echoes wildly ring, And over seas and hoary strands This Christmas carol sing. "Awaken, O, heart of the race, To bountiful riches from Eden above, Till roses of beauty and lilies of grace Shall sweeten the languishing bosom with love; Till virulent sorrow and venomous hate Their poisonous curses of misery cease, And rapturous fortune, felicitous fate, Have rule in the musical meadows of peace. "The voices of morning to men, In passionate whispers of bounteous glee, Are pulsing the gladness of Christmas again O'er plains of the prairie and sounds of the sea; Rejoice and be happy, O, languishing soul, In limitless treasures of marvelous cheer, Till ravishing murmurs of lullabies roll Through all of the sorrows that sadden the year! "Though summer has gone from the earth, And silken embraces of velvety snow Are folding the blossoms of beauty and worth In wretched surroundings of wearisome woe; Let innocent joys in their sweetness abound And silvery cadence in melody start, Till ra turous fortunes with leasure surround